Cover image for Middle East politics today : government and civil society
Middle East politics today : government and civil society
Ismael, Tareq Y.
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Publication Information:
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, 2001.
Physical Description:
xv, 510 pages ; 24 cm
The burden of history: from Empire to nation-states -- The political heritage of Islam: continuity and change -- The oppressive state and civil society -- The Islamic Republic of Iran -- The Republic of Turkey -- The Republic of Turkey -- The Republic Iraq -- Syria and Lebanon -- The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan -- The State of Israel -- The gulf cooperation Council Countries -- The Republic of Yemen -- The Arab Republic of Egypt -- Appendix A. Social groups, languages, and religions -- Appendix B. Population and health in the Middle East -- Appendix C. Size, income, and diversity of the Middle Eastern nations.
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JQ1758.A58 I86 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Accessible to students and useful to the expert, this up-to-date volume offers a comprehensive study of important and complicated issues in the contemporary Middle East. This account, covering all Middle Eastern countries, examines major trends in the history, politics and economics of the region, with a special focus on events since the 1991 Persian Gulf War. It emphasizes regional comparative groupings of states such as the Fertile Crescent, the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, the Nile Valley, Turkey and Iran.

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This comprehensive study demonstrates that over time patterns of politics--rather than events--are more important in understanding Middle Eastern politics today. Ismael suggests that today's Middle East is related to the Middle East of yesterday, not by events in time but by patterns through time. In this context Ismael addresses the interaction between government and society. For most political theorists, "civil society" means voluntary forms of association, not dependent on law, while "state" denotes the legal and political institutions that protect, endorse, and complete the powerful but inarticulate forces of social union. Given this definition, Ismael claims that the linkage between the discourse on civil society and the state creates a tension in Middle Eastern politics. He asserts that civil society exists in latent form in the Middle East and has a tremendous historical legacy, but the state, the dominant force in Middle Eastern politics, lacks roots in the region's history. Part 1 introduces the dynamics of history and Islamic culture that have shaped Middle Eastern politics today. Part 2 offers a comparative survey of the political legacy and current political environment of each state; chapters elucidate the patterns of political conformity and change that have evolved since 1918 in each country examined. A valuable contribution for upper-division undergraduate through graduate collections. S. Ayubi Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden